Four stakes races, including a festival of New York-bred races on the Belmont Park card, highlight a special Memorial Day Cross Country Pick 5. This special Cross Country Pick 5 features those Big Apple Showcase Day races at Belmont and two races from Churchill Downs.

Cross Border-Cross Country Pick 5
Cross Border, seen here winning the 2021 Bowling Green at Saratoga, is a must-use on the final leg of the Memorial Day Cross Country Pick 5. (Image: Coglianese Photos/Joe Labozzetta)

The Twin Spires plays host to the lone graded stakes race in the sequence: the Grade 3 Winning Colors. The six-furlong sprint for older fillies serves as the middle leg of the five-race wager. It also features the return of one of the more intriguing older female sprinters in the country: Sconsin. The Greg Foley charge won this race last year and – even after taking an 8 ½-month break – is the one to watch.

Chasing her are graded stakes-placed Joyful Cadence and Li’l Tootsie from John Ortiz’s barn, along with allowance winners Euphoric, Novel Squall and Tipsy Gal.

Churchill Downs opens the sequence with the lone non-stakes race in the wager: a seven-furlong allowance on the main track. A C Expressway, the tepid 7/2 morning line favorite, arrives off a miserable eighth in the inaugural restricted Knicks Go on the Kentucky Derby undercard. One to watch in the 10-horse field is Angkor, who makes his first start since finishing second last November at Churchill Downs.

Yo Cuz wants her fourth stakes title

Belmont Park takes the baton for the second leg for the Bouwerie. This race for 3-year-old New York-bred fillies could be one of the spiciest in the sequence. Three-time stakes winner Yo Cuz arrives off a disappointing fourth in the Park Avenue at Aqueduct in April. The Big A provided the setting for the daughter of Laoban to win those three stakes races.

Waiting for her, however, is Sterling Silver, who opened her career with two victories before stumbling to fifths in her last two starts. Those came at the Listed Busher at Aqueduct and the Grade 1 Ashland at Keeneland. She does have a triple-digit Equibase on the resume, a 100 in her Black-Type Franklin Square Stakes win at the Big A in January.

After the Winning Colors, the fourth leg returns to Belmont Park for the Mike Lee. Nine sophomore New York-breds go seven furlongs with Todd Pletcher’s Best Idea one to watch. The son of Honor Code cuts back after finishing second in a 1 1/16-mile allowance May 1 at Belmont Park. Before that, however, Best Idea debuted with a six-furlong victory in a February maiden special weight at Aqueduct.

Cross Country Pick 5 closes with two millionaires dueling

Spreading possibilities come with Rotknee, who returns to New York after a forgettable seventh in April’s Animal Kingdom on Turfway Park’s synthetic track. A month earlier, the Runhappy progeny won the seven-furlong Damon Runyon at Aqueduct for his third career victory.

The Cross Country Pick 5 closes with the Kingston at Belmont Park. This 1 1/16-mile turf test for 4-year-olds and up features two familiar names from Mike Maker’s barn: Cross Border and Somelikeithotbrown. Cross Border brings $1,123,979 in earnings, along with 11 victories and seven in-the-money finishes in graded stakes. Three of those came in Grade 1s and he owns Grade 2 scores in the last two Bowling Greens at Saratoga.

Somelikeithotbrown counters that with $1,189,338 in earnings and eight wins. He’s won three graded stakes, including Grade 2 scores at the Bernard Baruch at Saratoga and the Dinner Party at Pimlico. The son of 2010 Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown hit the board 11 times in 15 graded stakes.

NYRA Memorial Day Cross Country Pick 5

Leg Race Track Time (ET)
Leg A Allowance Churchill Downs 3:50 p.m.
Leg B Bouwerie Belmont Park 4:06 p.m.
Leg C Winning Colors (G3) Churchill Downs 4:22 p.m.
Leg D Mike Lee Belmont Park 4:40 p.m.
Leg E Kingston Belmont Park 5:12 p.m.

The minimum bet on the Cross Country Pick 5 is 50 cents. The wager comes with a 15% takeout. Each week features a total payout of the net pool.

Past performances are available here.

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